Revista Brasileira de Entomologia
Print version ISSN 0085-5626
VASCONCELLOS, Alexandre et al. Seasonality of insects in the semi-arid Caatinga of northeastern Brazil. Rev. Bras. entomol. [online]. 2010, vol.54, n.3, pp. 471-476. ISSN 0085-5626. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0085-56262010000300019.
Insects are essential to tropical ecosystems functioning. In semi-arid regions, the increase in abundance and/or activity (e.g. reproduction and foraging behavior) of insects is usually associated with climatic variables. The present study investigates which climatic variables are best predictors of insect abundance in an area of Caatinga in northeastern Brazil. Individuals were sampled for 24 months using Malaise and pitfall traps, and beating trays. A total of 58925 individuals belonging to 20 insect orders were collected. The most abundant orders were Hymenoptera, Diptera, Collembola and Coleoptera. Most orders studied showed a clear maximum abundance in the rainy season. Rainfall and humidity were the best predictors of insect abundance in the Caatinga. However, no climatic variable could explain Psocoptera and Blattodea variance in abundance/activity. Our results suggest that climatic changes associated with rainfall patterns in the Caatinga may affect ecosystem processes and services that depend direct or indirectly on insect abundance/activity.
Keywords : Abundance; climatic variables; insect availability; Neotropical region.